PIXO Group’s sister company ONU, has developed a 3D visualization platform called ONU one. ONU One takes CAD data or other digital assets and optimizes the large files for viewing on the web & mobile. The product files are also interactive, and can be rotated, zoomed, customized and exploded. For TEDx Detroit, ONU wanted to showcase their 3D platform in virtual reality with a larger-than-life object, to enable enterprise to bring big products anywhere. They also wanted to develop for the HTC Vive, the current must-have hardware platform.
The challenge was to bring large items to impossible locations – in this case, getting a car inside the front gates of a baseball stadium (that means passing through security!). And ONU didn’t want the car to just be large, but actually to scale – a perfect 1:1 ratio. There was also the User Interface / User Experience to consider. For TEDx, we knew many of the attendees had never used the HTC Vive before, let alone our particular experience. It needed to be extremely intuitive to explore the space and model. And of course, for a totally immersive experience, the 3D CAD data had to look realistic enough to alter participants’ perception.
PIXO Group used the Unity game engine to develop on the HTC Vive. As seasoned Unity and VR professionals, this part was straightforward. PIXO Group also prepared the 3D model, which was from CAD data, to be viewed in a real-time rendering environment. The millions of polygons that were preserved allowed for high detail in the model. The frame rate was also over 90 frames per second for the entire experience, which is the preferred viewing rate for VR. PIXO Group also added informational hotspots into the experience, which ONU One utilizes on its platform, and is a huge differentiating feature. These hotspots call out information in rich media, like text, animations and even played an explainer video. Finally, the models totally exploded, allowing participants to walk around inside the nuts and bolts.
TEDx Detroit was a massive success. Throughout the course of the day, lines persisted for the experience. On-site surveys averaged a score of 9.7 for the experience (excluding the one lovely person who rated it 100 out of 10). Feedback ranged from “phenomenal” to “WOW!,” with a few “Holy s–t!” overheard as well. People were able to understand the practical, enterprise applications of this technology, which will help adoption of virtual reality for CAD going forward.